A single mum claims she was dragged from her home by police "in her underwear and in front of neighbours", forcing her to leave her young daughter at home alone, all over an unpaid $57 petrol bill.
Belinda Goodwin told A Current Affair she was relaxing with her 12-year-old daughter Summer at their Gold Coast home on Saturday when officers arrived at her property at 8am. Goodwin claims she was placed under arrest, and dragged from the house nearly naked, leaving her totally "humiliated" and her daughter alone.
She claimed the reason behind the arrest was an initially forgotten about petrol bill, but she had by that point paid the bill.
But a Queensland Police spokesperson said officers attended the woman's residence to issue a warrant for failing to appear at court in relation to "a number of outstanding matters".
The spokesperson said "the alleged, outstanding fuel payment" was just one of the matters "police wanted to speak to the woman about" — but it was not the "primary purpose" officers attended.
Neighbour says arrest was overly aggressive
In footage of the arrest shown by A Current Affair, Goodwin can be heard screaming to neighbours for help, while insisting "I've never been arrested before". One neighbour, Jenny, who caught wind of the drama, branded the arrest "completely over the top".
"It was so aggressive, so aggressive. You would think she's a murderer or something," she said.
"She (Summer) didn't know where her mum was going, how long she would be gone for, she had no contact details, she had her mother's phone so she had no way to contact her, and she was just in tears. She had no key to get back up there."
"It was very humiliating for me as well," Goodwin's daughter Summer said through tears, who recorded the ordeal on her phone.
Belinda Goodwin claims saga stems from unpaid petrol bill
In June, Goodwin said she had attempted to buy $57 worth of petrol, but her "Apple Pay wasn't working". She claimed that she left her licence behind at the station in a show of good faith, but because she was in the process of moving homes, returning to pay the sum "slipped her mind".
Months later, police allegedly arrived at Goodwin's door, advising her that if she didn't fix up her bill soon, she'd be served with a court notice. Goodwin claims officers then told her that if she did pay the bill, she'd avoid a court date.
"So we went in [to the petrol station] and I said, 'You guys have got my ID, I left it here for a fuel drive off' and he's like 'Oh yep, yep' and then he pulled out the paper, gave me my licence," Goodwin said.
"I signed a piece of paper — paid it.
"I said, 'Oh will this be withdrawn?' he said, 'Yeah, nah, it's all good, this always happens."
The police spokesperson said police have not received any advice from the service station of a desire to withdraw the matter.
"I open the door and I was like, literally naked. And, they just said, 'Can you put something on? We're going to come and sit and talk to you'," Goodwin, a childcare worker, said.
The mum claims she resisted "because she didn't understand what was going on", with the saga having been captured in dramatic footage.
"Like, if someone grabbed you, you're going to — your instinct is going to be to resist. No matter what it is," she said. "There's people out here that are like breaking and entering, killing, stabbing, driving stolen cars."
Police supervisor found arrest was appropriate and lawful
"Officers advised the woman she was required to attend the police station for a short duration and would then be returned home," the police spokesperson said.
"Once the woman was advised she was being placed under arrest she became obstructive to officers, refusing to accompany them willingly, at which time a 12-year-old girl at the property became upset. Given the short period of time the woman was expected to be with police, neighbours cared for the child while officers dealt with the woman before returning her home.
"The Queensland Police Service (QPS) has had a senior supervisor review the body worn camera footage of the officer's interactions in this matter which were found to be considered, appropriate and lawful."
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.